DISCLAIMER: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement was intended.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Just a short little one shot, which I seem to be posting a lot of lately. I wrote this awhile back and found it while I was looking for something else today. I decided to post it even though the response to my last story wasn't great. Plot bunny inspired by PyroDeScorpio2's story Savior.

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Alec could usually tell by how a girl kissed what she'd be like in bed and how she'd like to enjoy him. If she kissed slow and shy, then she'd want the illusion of lovemaking. If the kiss was impatient and passionate, a quick, hard fuck was in store. There were plenty of other categories and he liked to think of himself as a master at identifying and delivering them all. Karalynn, the leggy, model thin blond he'd picked up at Crash that night, was definitely the first type, so he'd spent the last two hours worshiping her body, savoring every inch of her and then just as he positioned himself and slid home, his cell phone rang. He told himself to ignore it, but curious like the cat they'd spiked his cocktail with, his eyes zeroed in on the caller id and he was on his feet and across the room before he or Karalynn knew what had happened.

It was Max. Beautiful, bitchy, cured of the virus Max. Who'd gone from being one of his best and only friends to a co worker that barely tolerated him over night. Logan had found the cure two months into the siege. Two long months where Alec had spent all his time celibate, pretending to be her boyfriend, two months that flew by as he fell more in love with her everyday. He'd made a play to convince her that he was the man for her, not Roller Boy, but Max had chosen the Ordinary. They hadn't spoken, unless it was related to the running of Terminal City, since and it had been seven months.

Which meant, Alec thought as he grabbed for the phone, the hot, naked blond on his bed already forgotten, that Max was in trouble. And he hated the fact that he loved her too much not to answer the phone.

Flipping it open and moving it to his ear in a blur too fast for the human eye to follow, he muttered a quick, "Go for Alec," as he started searching the floor for his tee shirt.

Her voice, as it came through the phone, was weak and full of pain, "Alec..." and he knew from that one word, that she wasn't just in trouble, she was hurt, bad, if he were any sort of judge.

"Where are you Maxie? I'm on my way." He'd managed to pull the shirt on without ever moving the phone from his ear, and had already grabbed his pants and had started to struggle into them. He had a pair of boxers around here somewhere but he wasn't going to waste the time trying to find them. He caught a glimpse of his date, sitting on the bed, sheet clenched to her chest, staring at him incredulously and all he could do was offer and apologetic shrug before looking away to scan the room for his boots.

"Warehouse..... on Piedmont..... Sector 3. Something or other coffee...... But I don't think...there's not enough time Alec.... I just called to tell you that..... I'm sorry." Her words were choppy and forced, as though she was speaking through waves of pain and it spurred him to move faster. He was already in Sector 3, about five minutes away if he pushed his bike to its limits. "Terminal City, its yours now Alec. You gotta take care of them, kay?"

He was gritting his teeth and out the door before she could finish the thought. "I'm almost there Maxie. Tell me what happened, soldier." He barked it, made it an order, slipping back into the Commanding Officer facade he'd worn for so many years before he'd met her, praying it would shock her into listening. If he could just keep her talking, she'd be okay until he got to her, he knew it.

"Logan found out about..... a shipment of drugs." She said, her voice listless and small, "Medicine...... to treat cancer or...something." There was something in the way that she phrased it that made him think that she hadn't been listening too closely to Logan's latest reason why she had to risk her life to better their broken world and he found himself grinning in spite of the terror that was building inside him.

"The bad guys were hiding it..... in with coffee beans.... old smugglers trick to confuse..... the dogs at the border, so they could take it.... to Canada and sell it on the black market." She stopped speaking and gasped loudly, the pain in the single sound pushing him to force his bike fast than it had ever been driven before, he was close now, almost to Piedmont, he'd made better time than he'd thought possible.

"Got here and managed to knock out....the goons guarding the stash...."she continued breathlessly, the pain she was in was almost tangible. "Was getting ready...to call Matt...Sung...when White and his pals showed up. Him and four of...those big uglies from the...Jam Pony thing...." Alec found himself wincing, those fugly bastards were almost their equals one on one, Maxie wouldn't have stood much chance with those odds but what she told him next had his blood boiling. "They kicked the...crap out of me...."she told him with a humorless laugh, "then the real fun started...." And he just knew she meant torture. They'd tortured his Maxie and she'd been alone, with no backup. "They...I...I ended up playing...dead, after...awhile.... They left and I...found my phone."

He wanted to know why she hadn't called Logan, it was petty but she'd stomped on his heart. He couldn't bring himself to ask.

"Never told you...I was sorry..." She was starting to say even as he spotted the warehouse, Smith and Smith's Coffee and crouched down low over the handlebars, trying to coax every last bit of speed that he could out of the motorcycle.

"Love you.... you know....have for....a long time...Couldn't betray him though...he waited so... long. Sorry....Missed you. Couldn't talk to you...see you...hurt too much. Just wanted to say...loved you....Sorry, so sorry." He heard the phone hit the floor then and knew that she'd passed out. Hoped, that she'd passed out and he wasn't too late. He braked so fast that he had to turn the bike sideways to help slow it down, leaning so far to one side that his knee was brushing the ground. He leaped free, letting the bike slide the last few feet to stop on its own, knowing that it wouldn't cause enough damage to make the bike un-ridable even as he sprinted towards the door.

His heart had stopped. Had literally stopped beating, when she'd dropped the phone. Spotting her lying on the floor surround by blood, didn't do much to help it start back up. He couldn't lose her. She was the air he breathed, the color in everything he saw. He couldn't live without her. He'd been able to go on after she'd chosen Logan, because he'd been able to see her everyday, he'd known that she was safe and at least she was happy but if she died...he didn't think he'd be far behind. He wouldn't kill himself, he wasn't the type, but he wouldn't have much reason to care whether he was playing it safe or not.

It was hard to recognize her, it seemed like there wasn't an inch of skin that wasn't cut or burned or bruised and swollen. Her fingers were all bent at odd angles and he had no idea how she'd managed to dial the phone. He sank to his knees beside her, never noticing how her blood was soaking into his jeans, and thats when he saw it, the slightest flutter of a pulse under the bruised and charred skin of her neck. He'd never seen anyone this badly tortured before. What information had White been trying to get from her?

He snapped her phone shut before hanging up his own. A quick call to TC followed by a call to Doctor Shankar and he was rising to his feet with her in his arms. He'd get her to the hospital and there'd be a security team waiting to help him protect her. And then, once he knew that she was going to be alright, he'd take care of White. And then, then he'd have a nice long "talk" with Logan.